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Ian Friedman Lends Insight on National Civil Liberties Debate

With the 2016 presidential race heating up, the ongoing debate of national security and data collection vs. civil liberties has once again taken center stage. Following the December 15, 2015 GOP debate, Attorney Ian Friedman spoke with Cleveland Jewish News about the Republican field's take on the issue.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, nearly every GOP candidate spoke favorably about increasing data collection and largely put aside prominent national concerns of citizen civil liberties. Still, Attorney Friedman found the GOP talking points vague and, in some cases, inaccurate. "My instinct was that the speakers on stage were politicians just speaking politics," Friedman told the paper. "My feeling was they really didn’t understand what they were speaking about."

He also pointed out that, with the laws in place now (including the recent USA Freedom Act), the government has the tools and reach it needs to identify and confront internal threats to national security through social media, secret warrants, and other federal authorities. "What they (the Republicans) want to do is be able to go into everybody’s digital closets and hope that one turns up criminal evidence," he said. "That’s a tough pill to swallow for people who today house their most intimate of affairs online."

The Candidates’ Responses

When it came to each candidate's individual response on the issue, each had their own angle on why data collection needs to be expanded and how it could be done. Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina suggested that more compliance from Silicon Valley, not new laws, was the answer. Senator Marco Rubio criticized the US Freedom Act for ending bulk collection of phone metadata. Governor Kasich invoked the San Bernardino shooting to insist that encrypted communication was still the most important hurdle in monitoring citizen communication.

Attorney Friedman remained, however, adamant that popular GOP sentiment of "if you have a terrorist, you have nothing to hide," was woefully misguided. "It’s absolutely not true," Friedman said. "People need to understand that when they allow the government greater ability under the guise of national security, you’re giving up your right to privacy and individual liberty, no question about that."

If you are facing a criminal allegation, your choice in representation has a direct effect on the outcome of your case. Ian N. Friedman is one of the most sought-after and accomplished criminal defense attorneys in greater Cleveland. He and his team have taken on some of the highest profile cases in the region and consistently ensured that their clients received every consideration they deserved under the law.

Start exploring your defense options with proven counsel today. Call our firm to request a free case evaluation now.

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